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Messages - Gothick

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4306
Hysterical!  thanks for the laugh.  I needed it...

G.

4307
Current Talk '07 II / Re: HODS Revisited
« on: October 17, 2007, 08:54:13 PM »
The ironic thing about hoDS historically is that from what I have read (not my own research), the movie did boffo box office business.  So, even if it was a failure on other levels, commercially it was a huge hit--in an industry which has a history of total myopia beyond anything other than commercial success.  By market dictates, DC got it right on the money.

I do think the movie benefited from the cinematography of Arthur Ornitz.  He gave the proceedings a very lush visual style (although I think there were a couple of gaffes--notably the first shot in which we see Barnabas full-face, which is poorly, awkwardly framed and not properly lit at all--I'm quite sure that the speed with which they churned it out is to blame for this).
And, of course, Robert Cobert's score, not to mention Lela Swift's uncredited work as AD helped a great deal with atmosphere and tone.

Wasn't the axing of a lot of the introductory stuff the result of pressure from the MGM suits?  I believe that Dan deleted the later sequences establishing Barnabas and Julia's relationship before he delivered the final print to the studio, but I thought that on Darren's old site there was material about cuts that the suits wanted for the sake of conserving their 90 minute running time for drive-in showings and double bills.

hoDS and NoDS weren't the only films of that period ruined by excessive cutting.  Dr Phibes rises again is another example although I think it still holds up pretty well.  There are others that could be mentioned.

Another irony is that Hammer studios was on very shakey ground in 1970-71.  I think it was around this time that Warner Bros. decided not to renew the deal to distribute Hammer's product in the US--now that I think of it, I think this came a bit later, in '73?  I know this is why some of the final Hammers such as Satanic Rites of Dracula and To the Devil, a Daughter, took so long to play in the US and weren't exhibited very widely.

G.

4308
I really want The Cat Creature. I got a bootleg of it on eBay and it looks godawful on that.  The divine Gale Sondergaard was such a diva in that film...

G.

4309
Current Talk '07 II / Re: New member who loves Luciaphil's Idle Thoughts
« on: October 12, 2007, 10:02:41 PM »
Hi buzz, welcome.  I'm a huge fan of Luciaphil and her column as well.  Unfortunately, she abandoned the column a year ago (no doubt due to very legitimate real-life responsibilities) and hasn't been able to resume.  She wrote some hysterically funny fan fiction as well--I remember a number involving Julia and Roger that still make me giggle. And a fascinating novella, The Education of Judith Collins, with a marvelously fleshed-out portrait of Grandma-mamma Edith.

You might want to check out a thread on this Current Talk board called something like "So, I'm finally doing 1840."  I think you might want to take a break and go back and watch the 1966 shows and then come back and finish watching the last year of the series.  It does get somewhat better once they go to 1840 but it is still a mixed bag.  I gave my views on the remainder in that thread.

Hope you continue to enjoy Dark Shadows!  Keep in touch.

Best wishes,

Gothick

4310
The week of Cassandra's arrival on the scene is one of my favorite parts of the show.  They give us lots of tense, dramatic scenes--the ones involving Liz and Roger are particularly sharp.  Lots of bitchy moments with a smug Cass twisting the knife in Liz and the Mistress of Collinwood firing back.  I love the scene where Liz coldly informs the new Mrs. Roger Collins that her husband doesn't have a penny to his own name.

G.

4311
Current Talk '07 II / Re: Discuss - Ep #0401
« on: October 11, 2007, 03:40:48 PM »
I have the impression from my reading that women like Abigail Collins were a dime-a-dozen in households of the 18th and 19th centuries.  When I visited Herman Melville's homestead some years ago, the elderly but vigorous tourguide took a certain relish in relaying to us how the rooms of the house swarmed with female relations who had nowhere else to live (a common circumstance--"little women" eventually became not so little spinsters) and how Melville himself was the only person in the house with his own room--a study in which he wrote his novels.  The guide's eyes gleamed as she pointed out that the door had a lock on it and only Mr. Melville had the key (but I doubt whether he wore it round his throat on a locket).

G.

4312
Current Talk '07 II / Thaddeus (Tad) Collins
« on: October 10, 2007, 12:05:24 AM »
Just thought I'd poke my head in the door to say that I'm more or less equally fond of the present day storylines and the time-travelling ones.  I have a special fondness for the pre-Barnabas 1966-67 shows, and for the Cassandra Collins/Nicholas Blair 1968 storyline--as regards the latter, mainly because I started watching DS during that period so it was my introduction to the series.

I haven't watched the episode in quite some time, but as I recall it, when David and Amy are exploring the West Wing in December of '68, they pass a portrait of a mutton-chopped gent of the 1860s and David solemnly informs his new friend that this is Thaddeus Collins, an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.  I realize I'm imputing WAY too much power of recall to the writers but I like to think of Thaddeus as the child Tad grown up and doing his bit during the War Between the States.

G.

4313
Golly, Gary Russell is still around and stiill writing Doctor Who stuff... *quickly checks to make sure it's not 1987*

The cover of the book is stunning, Stuart.  Congratulations!

G.

4314
Calendar Events / Announcements '07 II / Re: Happy Birthday to Julia99!
« on: October 01, 2007, 10:39:18 PM »
Heather darling, you really know how to ring my chimes!

Hope Julia enjoys these upon her return!

Thanks,

G.

4315
Very interesting.  Some of us have other views on the real story behind the cancellation of DS--we've gone over that so many times here that I'm sure the threads could be easily found if you search the boards.

I found it fascinating when I learned that the ratings for the series were actually going up in January-February of 1971.  It makes me wonder whether the show could have found a whole new audience had it continued into the Seventies.

On the other hand, conjuring up the image of David, Quentin and Roger in those loud polyester Seventies outfits with platform wedgies and ties wide enough to serve as bibs makes me grateful NOT to have had to live through all that.

G.

4316
Calendar Events / Announcements '07 II / Re: Happy Birthday to Julia99!
« on: October 01, 2007, 05:44:39 PM »
Quelle spectacle!  C'est l'anniversaire extraordinare de Julia99!  Oo-la-la!  Quelle drolerie, ca serait bien sur tout-a-fais divine!!!

Je m'en fiche!!!

xoxo G.

PS Happy Birthday sweetie!!!

4317
Just a line to any fans who may have been following this topic:  I checked reviews of the UK release of Vault of Horror, and although the movie is complete, it is described as a pan and scan digitzation of a scratchy, somewhat faded print that hasn't been cleaned up--sounds like a public domain print from a 16 mm collector may have been the source.

This makes me wonder whether the original source materials for the full length print before the cuts demanded by the MPAA (this was the theatrical print of the movie, not a print prepared for television as stated by a number of people on Amazon) may have gotten lost in the wash (once again...).

There are reports of a Japanese laser disc which is supposed to be pristine but it was awhile back (obviously) when I read about this.

G.

4318
My thoughts--

Joan Bennett:  in the books about the show's history, it is stated (originally by KLS, I believe, in the first edition of My Scrapbook Memories of DS--a wonderful book just for the photographs; I cherish it for the series of Thayer David in the antique store alone) that Joan insisted on being given a six week vacation every year.  So, it was built in from the get-go that Liz (or whoever Joan played) would have periods of being "away" in some form or other.  I do think that Joan has some of her best moments post-Barnabas.  The whole Jason Maguire thing is concurrent with the original Barnabas storyline and I actually find it very effective now to watch the two storylines switching back and forth.  The Judith Collins story in 1897 contains some of Joan's best work on the show (and may I just mention here, since I seldom here anyone else voicing this opinion, that I love watching Joan work opposite Jerry Lacy and that I think that for once, the showdown of the whole Judith/Trask storyline packs quite a punch on DS--where storyline payoffs all too often ended with a rushed fizzle).  For some reason, after Parallel Time 1970 Joan got very little good material to work with.  I did hear a fan report about a ca. 1972 talk show appearance (I have no idea which one) in which Joan stated bluntly that she was relieved that Shadows was done with because she was tired of it and had not had a very good time.  I suspect this reflects (if anything more than a passing mood on that day) her experience on hoDS and the decline in the material she was given in that last year.

Louis--I don't think he really cared one way or the other so long as he got his own share of work.  Unlike Joan, Louis did get some more substantial material right through to the end of the series.  I thought the aged Daniel was a fantastiic tour de force, and Brutus was great fun.  Louis was a champ!

Nancy, as Michael and others in this thread have implied, did continue to have central importance throughout the Barnabas era.  We got to watch Carolyn grow up, and go through some remarkable experiences.  As for Alex, I give her credit for bringing depth and plausibility to the work  even when Vicki goes way out on a limb (that whole Jeff Clark/Peter Bradford thing--let's just not go there).  I so wish she had come back in 1897 to play a darker more sinister role, as I've read she had requested from DC.  Of course the fans probably would have sent in hate-mail as they did when Barnabas was made evil again during the Leviathans (I think the real reason why the Leviathans story was so reviled at the time--the teenybopper fan base couldn't deal with seeing Barn go bad).

Missed opportunities:  I would have loved to have seen Frank Garner become a regular on the show as Vicki's love interest.  I think that would have added a different twist to the whole dynamic of Barn's courtship of Vicki.  And I wish that Ned Calder had come to Collinwood.  In Sam Hall's notes on how the story might have continued, I like to think of the man that Liz brought in to help with the business as Ned, although I think that Sam described him as a younger man and very brilliant.  In any event, I like to think of Liz having some happiness in her life after all those "dark shadows."

Just my two drachmae--

G.

4319
Several people on the IMDB boards for this series are describing it as an out-and-out remake of Forever Knight.

It's actually on a channel that I receive so I may have a look to see just how awful it proves to be (Blood Ties certainly set an unusually low benchmark for awfulness in vampire series).

G.

4320
Current Talk '07 II / Re: i'm doing 1840...finally
« on: September 25, 2007, 07:55:32 PM »
I did think that a connection between Roxanne's story and the main Gerard story was *implied* in the Summer of 1970 storyline--if you watch carefully, there are snippets of dialogue here and there that imply this.  But in typical fashion the Roxanne storyline was just turned into a dead end like so much else from this period.

G.

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